Perhaps the most important thing that people ask is, “When is a Root Canal Necessary?” The answer to this question will help you appreciate how critical the decision to have a root canal is to keep your natural teeth. Find out the answer to this and many other questions about root canals from our team at Innovative Endodontics.
You will need a root canal if a cavity, deep filling, or crack deep enough to expose the pulp or soft tissue inside your tooth exposes the pulp to bacteria. The bacteria cause localized contamination of the tooth, causing inflammation or infection of the pulp. Common reasons for this scenario to occur include:
During a root canal, the endodontist cleans out this affected tissue from inside the tooth to address the inflammation or infection. The procedure also includes filling and sealing the canals to prevent future bacteria from recontaminating the tooth.
Because inflammation occurs inside the tooth, you will likely feel several uncomfortable symptoms that indicate you likely need to have a root canal performed. These signs of needing this procedure include:
If you experience any of the above signs, you should schedule a visit with your dentist. Do not put off the visit if you have a fear of a root canal. In fact, getting prompt care for your tooth will ease the pain and discomfort that you feel. With modern medication and procedures, many people feel little to no pain during and after a root canal. Plus, your overall pain level will get better after the root canal because you don’t have infected pulp inside your tooth anymore.
It is always best to seek treatment as soon as possible for any dental discomfort that you experience. Waiting too long for treatment may result in you losing the tooth. Root canal treatment is a painless and efficient way to save your tooth and avoid the long process of extraction and implant placement.
Root canal treatment is often completed in one visit. However, for more complicated cases, you might need a second visit to complete cleaning, sealing, and filling the tooth.
After getting this procedure from an endodontist, you will need to go to your dentist to have the tooth covered with a crown or other form of restorative dentistry to protect it permanently. Do not skip this final part because the treated tooth only has a temporary filling until your dentist can replace it with a crown. Not getting this step done or waiting too long could cause damage to the tooth or introduce bacteria. These scenarios may require you to have another root canal or you could end up losing the tooth.
Yes, there is an alternative to a root canal – tooth extraction. This option, however, is less than desirable. While only having a tooth pulled generally costs less than a root canal, the healing process takes more time and causes more pain. Additionally, you may need an implant placed in the space to prevent the other teeth from moving and changing your appearance or bite. The cost of an implant and extraction often exceeds that of a root canal.
Tooth extraction also comes with several complications that you won’t have to worry about if you get a root canal, such as:
As noted, if your dentist recommends that you have root canal treatment, your tooth’s problem has progressed beyond getting fixed with only a filling. A filling does not clean out or seal the root canals.
Getting a tooth pulled is the last resort if you wait too long to have root canal treatment. In fact, endodontists try to help you to keep your natural tooth by performing root canal treatment or surgery instead of pulling a tooth.
While root canal treatment only causes minor discomfort during the healing and procedure, you will not want to repeat the process. To prevent future root canals, take the following precautions:
By taking care of your teeth, you can keep your natural teeth for life. However, if your dentist tells you that you need a root canal due to damage or decay, schedule an appointment with an endodontist for this procedure. By following the dentist’s advice and getting a root canal when told to, you can avoid complications such as losing a tooth.
Don’t risk losing a tooth due to putting off a root canal too long. You can preserve your natural smile by scheduling an appointment with us at Innovative Endodontics. Let us bring you the professional treatment and service that makes our patients smile. Our practice provides the best endodontic care that Goose Creek, SC residents can trust.